Waterford will get a late-season lift when the International Hot Air Ballooning Championships return to the city and county next week.

The 39th staging of the event visits the southeast capital for the second consecutive year from Sunday, September 20th to Friday the 25th.

Up to 40 colourful and eye-catching hot air balloons from throughout Ireland, the UK, France, Holland, Italy and the USA will attend. The balloons will fly twice each day, weather permitting, firstly at around 7.30am and again at approximately 6 in the evening.

According to Joe Daly of the Waterford Hot Air Ballooning Club, who is the main event organiser, this is a very special gathering. “It is a credit to the people of Waterford and the region that the longest running National Hot Air Ballooning Championships in the world are returning to Waterford.”

He singled out Waterford Airport’s assistance with Air Traffic Control and their generous support of the aviation event as “tremendously valuable.”


Airport CEO Graham Doyle says it was an easy decision to support the championships, and that they intend to place Waterford firmly on the map for International Hot Air Ballooning with a record attempt – “so watch this space!”


Joe Daly says some extra special features are in store, including a unique accessible balloon for people with disabilities, which requires a special basket and perfect flight conditions. “This balloon will be providing flights to those who would never normally have the opportunity.”

There are a limited number of spaces so anyone who knows of a physically disabled person who really deserves a flight they can email Joe asap at irishchampionships@gmail.com.


A website for the championships – www.waterfordballooningclub.com – will be updated daily with regard to flight times.